A study has found almost three quarters of young people have witnessed sexual harassment when out drinking in the East of England.
The survey, conducted by YouGov and Drinkaware with over 2000 adults, aimed to judge attitudes to sexual harassment on a night out. It found that 72 percent of 18-24 year olds had witnessed a form of sexual harassment when out drinking.
Additionally, 68 percent of the respondents say they expect women to be on the receiving end of inappropriate comments or gestures on a night out, with an added 38 percent saying they had experienced this first hand. This figure makes the East of England the second safest, in that respect, second only to the South East. Figures rise to as much as 52 percent in the North East.
Drinkaware have used this study to back up their campaign against sexual harassment. Their aim is to encourage people to be more comfortable in calling out and stopping sexual harassment on nights out.
Janet MacKechnie, a representative from Drinkaware, said that “It can be difficult to know exactly what to do which is why Drinkaware are giving young people this information and advice in the hope that next time they feel more confident to offer support to someone.”
She added: “If people see someone being sexually harassed, asking them if they are ok can make a big difference – whether they’re a friend or a stranger.”
The campaign gives three pieces of advice: Spot it. Check it. Speak out. It encourages people to step in if they see something suspicious happening. People are encouraged to talk to the person targeted to check if they are okay, but only if they feel safe doing so. Failing that, the next step would be to go to security.
SU Welfare, Community, and Diversity Officer, India Edwards, told Concrete: “Whilst the comments are shocking, for most of us they’re not surprising.
“Unwanted comments, touching and behaviour are a feature of nights out for so many students.
“At the SU we’re working to change these norms – sexual harassment is never OK – and we’re working with partners in the community to roll out our ‘Good Night Out’ initiative into the City so that reporting harassment to venue staff becomes something you can do across Norwich, not just the LCR.”